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Eur J Oral Sci. 1998 Jan;106 Suppl 1:24-31.

Mesectoderm is a major target of retinoic acid action.

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1
I.G.B.M.C., CNRS/INSERM/ULP/Collège de France, Illkirch. igbmc@igbmc.u-strasbg.fr

Abstract

The RAR and RXR families of retinoid nuclear receptors each comprise three isotypes (alpha, beta and gamma). In vitro, RARs bind to their cognate DNA response elements as heterodimers with RXRs. Null mutations of all six isotypes have been generated. The defects displayed by RAR alpha, beta and gamma single null mutant mice are confined to a small subset of the tissues normally expressing these receptors. This discrepancy reflects the existence of a functional redundancy, since RAR double null mutants exhibit congenital malformations in almost every organ system. In particular, most of the structures derived from the mesectoderm are severely affected. Analysis of mutant mice lacking both RARs and RXRs indicates that RXR alpha:RAR gamma heterodimers are instrumental in the patterning of craniofacial skeletal elements, whereas RXR alpha:RAR alpha heterodimers may be preferentially involved in the generation of neural crest cell-derived arterial smooth muscle cells. Both RXR alpha:RAR beta and RXR alpha:RAR gamma heterodimers appear to function during the development of the ocular mesenchyme. Moreover, atavistic reptilian cranial structures are generated in RAR mutants, suggesting that the RA signal has been implicated in the modification of developmental programs in the mesectoderm during evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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